Captain Johnny Sexton ruled out of Leinster's clash with La Rochelle

The 35-year-old continues to be sidelined due to a head injury.

Sexton is sidelined due to head injury.
Sexton is sidelined due to head injury.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

LEINSTER HAVE CONFIRMED that Johnny Sexton has been ruled out of their Heineken Champions Cup semi-final clash with La Rochelle in France on Sunday.

The 35-year-old captain continues to be sidelined by a head injury, having suffered his latest blow in the quarter-final victory over Exeter on 10 April.

Sexton also suffered head injuries earlier this year for Leinster and Ireland. 

The province say that he is unavailable for selection this weekend but will continue to train and be “assessed as part of the graduated return-to-play process.”

With Sexton absent, Ross Byrne is set to start at out-half for Leinster after impressing off the bench in his place against Exeter.

Leinster have also reported that Garry Ringrose [ankle] and James Ryan [head injury] came through their returns to action against Munster last weekend unscathed and are available for the La Rochelle game.

Back row Scott Penny and Tommy O’Brien also made successful comebacks in the Munster game, while Ciarán Frawley will overcome the minor hamstring injury that saw him drop off the bench prior to kick-off. Frawley is available for selection this weekend.

However, Leinster say they are still uncertain whether Caelan Doris, Jamison Gibson-Park, Harry Byrne, and Jimmy O’Brien will be available for the clash with La Rochelle.

Doris was due to make his return from a head injury in last weekend’s Rainbow Cup clash with Munster but pulled out after suffering a “minor calf injury” at the captain’s run on Friday.

Harry Byrne picked up a hamstring injury during that game, while Gibson-Park and O’Brien have been out of action with hamstring injuries.

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Scrum-half Rowan Osborne is also still recovering from a hand injury and will be further assessed during the training week, as will Doris, Gibson-Park, Harry Byrne, and O’Brien.

Jack Dunne [ankle], Adam Byrne [quad], Dan Leavy [knee], Conor O’Brien [knee], and Max Deegan [knee] all remain sidelined.

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Murray Kinsella

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